“Police detain man who insulted Dr M” is Old Malaysia – time for all agencies to develop “New Malaysia” mindset

“Police detain man who insulted Dr M” is Old Malaysia which was voted out by Malaysian voters on May 9, 2018.

The time has come for all public agencies to develop a “New Malaysia” mindset, which is why I had tweeted last night: “Release him Let us not embark on this path”.

Malaysians made history on May 9, 2018 but such a history will only be meaningful and lasting if it signalled the dawn of a New Malaysia with structural, institutional and mindset changes to enable the fulfillment of the Malaysian Dream, not just a change of Prime Minister or coalition forming the Malaysian Government in Putrajaya.

Under the Old Malaysia, police reports by Pakatan Harapan leaders and civil society activists against Barisan Nasional leaders are invariably ignored, while police reports by Barisan Nasional agaisnt Pakatan Harapan leader and civil society activists given priority attention.

In the New Malaysia, police response must not depend of “who” lodges police reports, but “what” was in the police report, and actions where civil remedy is available should not be criminalised just because the subject-matter involves the Prime Minister or any Minister for that matter.

It is good that Mahathir has acknowledged this, and he has publicly stated that he disagreed with the arrest of a man who criticised him and had instructed the police to look into the matter.

Many Malaysians see the 14th General Election as a national watershed where a New Malaysia can be born, and whether Malaysians adopt “New Malaysia” or “Old Malaysia” mindset will be an acid test whether we are building a New Malaysia or just continuing with an Old Malaysia.

On the occasion of the 49th anniversary of the May 13, 1969 racial riots on Sunday, I had called for the dark days of May 13 to be placed firmly behind us, but Malaysians must learn the most lesson of the need for perpetual mutual respect, sensitivity, civility and decency among Malaysians even among political foes in our plural society of diverse races, religions, languages and cultures.

I had called for a more decent and civil politics, minus the lies, fake news and false information so ubiquitous in recent general elections campaign.

Not everyone can respond positively to such a call but I hope that the majority of those who did not vote for Pakatan Harapan in the recent general election will be able to see the merit of this proposal and join in creating the New Malaysia mindset to bid farewell to the Old Malaysia of global kleptocracy, abuses of power, injustice and exploition of various forms.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Iskandar Puteri